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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

THE REFORMATION AND EDUCATION      189

well-educated citizens who can acquire, hold, and utilize every
treasure and possession.

How was the education which was to prepare children for this
world and the next to be got ? Sonie people thought that the
parents could be trusted to attend to it. But Luther, though not
disparaging the part played by the home in the upbringing of
children, and indeed, enjoining in the Preface to his Larger
Catechism that fathers should instruct their children and their
servants in religion at least once a week, regarded home education
as too narrow, and pointed out the advantage of schools where
children could learn the languages, the arts, and history, and so
" gather within themselves the experience of all that has happened
since the world began." These schools, in his opinion, should be
provided by the municipalities and maintained at the public
expense. Cities spend large sums every year on the making of
roads, on fortifications, on the arming and equipment of soldiers.
Why not an equal sum for the upkeep of one or two teachers ?
And having provided schools, they should use their authority to
secure the attendance of the children. " If the magistrates may
compel their able-bodied subjects to carry pike and musket and do
military service, there is much more reason for them compelling
their subjects to send their children to school. For there is a far
worse war to he waged with the devil, who employs himself
secretly in injuring towns and States through the neglect of
education."

Luther, in fact, wanted a system of education as free and un-
restricted as the Gospel he preached: indifferent, like the Gospel,
to distinctions of sex or of social class. He did not ignore the
difficulties that universal education presented on the economic
side. He knew that many of the parents were very poor, and that
the time required for the education of their children could some-
times be ill spared. He met the difficulty by suggesting that both
boys and girls should be sent to school for an hour or two a day
and should at the same time be learning some handicraft at home.
What studies he intended these part-time scholars to pursue is
not clear. The general programme of studies he sketched out was
certainly beyond what could be achieved under these conditions.
" Speaking for myself," he says," if I had children, I would make
them learn not only the languages and history, but singing and
music and the different branches of mathematics as well." It